1. Oceania – Oceania, also known as Oceanica, is a region centred on the islands of the tropical Pacific Ocean. The term was coined by geographer Conrad Malte-Brun. The Océanie is a French word derived from the Latin word oceanus, this from the Greek word ὠκεανός, ocean. Inhabitants of this region are called Oceanians or Oceanicans. As an ecozone, Oceania includes all of Polynesia except New Zealand. In geopolitical terms, however, New Zealand, the Solomon Islands, New Caledonia are almost always considered part of Oceania. Papua New Guinea are usually considered part of Oceania along with the Maluku Islands and Papua in Indonesia. Puncak Jaya in Papua is often considered the highest peak in Oceania. Oceania was originally conceived as the lands of the Pacific Ocean, stretching to the coast of the Americas. It comprised four regions: Melanesia. There is also a smaller geographic definition that includes Indonesian New Guinea on the Australian continent. Biogeographically, Oceania is used as a synonym for either the Pacific ecozone. Oceania is one of eight terrestrial ecozones, which constitute the ecological regions of the planet. The Oceania ecozone includes all of Polynesia except New Zealand. Australia constitute the separate Australasian ecozone.Oceania – A map of Oceania from the CIA World Factbook
2. Sovereign state – A sovereign state is, in international law, a nonphysical juridical entity, represented by one centralised government that has sovereignty over a geographic area. International law defines sovereign states as having a permanent population, defined territory, the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood that a sovereign state is neither dependent on nor subjected to state. The disappearance of a state is a question of fact. States came into existence as people "gradually transferred their allegiance to an intangible but territorial political entity, of the state". States are but one of political orders that emerged from feudal Europe, others being city states, leagues, empires with universalist claims to authority. Sovereignty is the concept of nation-state sovereignty based on territoriality and the absence of a role for external agents in domestic structures. It is an international system of states, organizations that began with the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. Sovereignty is a term, frequently misused. Lassa Oppenheim said "There exists perhaps no conception the meaning of, more controversial than that of sovereignty. The right of nations to exercise permanent sovereignty within the limits of their territorial jurisdictions is widely recognised. The Westphalian model of sovereignty has increasingly come under fire from the "non-west" as a system imposed solely by Western Colonialism. What this model did was make a subordinate to politics, a problem that has caused some issues in the Islamic world. Nation denotes a people who are deemed to share common customs, religion, language, origins, ancestry or history. However, the adjectives international are frequently used to refer to matters pertaining to what are strictly sovereign states, as in national capital, international law.Sovereign state – Member states of the United Nations, all of which are sovereign states, though not all sovereign states are necessarily members
3. Australia – Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area. Its largest urban area is Sydney. An additional five self-governing crown colonies established. On 1 the six colonies federated, forming the Commonwealth of Australia. Australia has since maintained a stable liberal political system that functions as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy comprising six states and several territories. The population of million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia has the world's 13th-largest economy and per capita income. With the human development index globally, the country ranks highly in quality of life, health, education, economic freedom, civil liberties and political rights. The name Australia is derived from the Latin Terra Australis a name used for putative lands in the southern hemisphere since ancient times. The adjectival form Australische was used in a Dutch book in Batavia in 1638, to refer to the newly discovered lands to the south. On 12 Macquarie recommended to the Colonial Office that it be formally adopted. In 1824, the Admiralty agreed that the continent should be known officially as Australia. These first inhabitants may have been ancestors of modern Indigenous Australians. Ethnically Melanesian, were originally horticulturists and hunter-gatherers.Australia – Aboriginal rock art in the Kimberley region of Western Australia
4. Federated States of Micronesia – Together, the states comprise around 607 islands that cover a longitudinal distance of almost 2,700 km north of the equator. The capital is Palikir, located on Pohnpei Island, while the largest city is Weno, located in the Chuuk Atoll. All but Kosrae include numerous outlying atolls. The Micronesia may refer to the Federated States or to the region as a whole. The FSM has a seat in the United Nations. The ancestors of the Micronesians settled over thousand years ago. A chieftain-based system eventually evolved into a more centralized economic and religious culture centered on Yap. Nan Madol, consisting of a series of artificial islands linked by a network of canals, is often called the Venice of the Pacific. European explorers -- first the Portuguese of the Spice Islands and then the Spanish -- reached the Carolines in the sixteenth century. The Spanish incorporated the archipelago in the 19th century established a number of outposts and missions. In 1887, they founded the town of Santiago la Ascension in what today is Kolonia on the island of Pohnpei. Following defeat in the Spanish -- American War, the Spanish sold the archipelago under the German -- Spanish Treaty of 1899. Germany incorporated it into German New Guinea. During World War I, it was captured by Japan. Following the war, the League of Nations awarded a mandate for Japan to administer the islands as part of the South Pacific Mandate.Federated States of Micronesia – Map of the Federated States of Micronesia.
5. Fiji – The farthest island is Ono-i-Lau. Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, account for 87 % of the population of almost 860,000. Suva on Viti Levu, serves as Fiji's principal cruise port. About three-quarters of Fijians live on Viti Levu's coasts, either in smaller urban centres like Nadi or Lautoka. Viti Levu's interior is inhabited due to its terrain. Fiji has one of the most developed economies in the Pacific due to an abundance of forest, fish resources. The main sources of foreign exchange are its tourist industry and sugar exports. The country's currency is the Fijian dollar. Fiji's local government, in the form of town councils, is supervised by the Ministry of Local Government and Urban Development. The majority of Fiji's islands were formed through volcanic activity starting around million years ago. Some geothermal activity still occurs on the islands of Vanua Levu and Taveuni. Fiji was settled first by Austronesians and later by Melanesians, with some Polynesian influences. , after a brief period as an independent kingdom, the British established the Colony of Fiji in 1874. Fiji was a Crown colony until 1970, when it gained independence as a Commonwealth realm. A republic was declared following a series of coups d'état.Fiji – Ratu Tanoa Visawaqa
6. Kiribati – Kiribati, officially the Republic of Kiribati, is an island nation in the central Pacific Ocean. The permanent population is just over 100,000, more than half of whom live on Tarawa Atoll. The nation comprises 33 atolls and reef islands and one raised coral island, Banaba. They have a total land area of 800 square kilometres and are dispersed over 3.5 million square kilometers. The International Date Line circumscribes Kiribati by swinging far to the east, almost reaching the 150°W meridian. Kiribati's easternmost islands, the southern Line Islands south of Hawaii, have the most advanced time on Earth, UTC+14 hours. Kiribati became independent from the United Kingdom in 1979. The capital and now most populated area, South Tarawa, consists of a number of islets, connected by a series of causeways. These comprise about half the area of Tarawa Atoll. Kiribati is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the IMF and the World Bank, became a full member of the United Nations in 1999. The name Kiribati was adopted at independence. It is local enunciation of Gilberts. This name derives from the main archipelago that forms the nation. It was named the Gilbert Islands after the British explorer Thomas Gilbert. He sighted many of the islands in 1788 while mapping out the Outer Passage route from Port Jackson to Canton.Kiribati – Stamp with portrait of King George VI, 1939
7. Marshall Islands – Geographically, the country is part of the larger island group of Micronesia. The country's population of 53,158 people is spread out over 29 coral atolls, comprising 1,156 individual islands and islets. About 27,797 of the islanders live on Majuro, which contains the capital. Micronesian colonists gradually settled the Marshall Islands with inter-island navigation made using traditional stick charts. Islands in the archipelago were first explored with Spanish explorer Alonso de Salazar sighting an atoll in August 1526. Other expeditions by Spanish and English ships followed. The islands derive their name from British explorer John Marshall, who visited in 1788. The islands were historically known by the inhabitants as "jolet jen Anij". The European powers recognized Spanish sovereignty over the islands in 1874. They had been part of the Spanish East Indies formally since 1528. Later, Spain sold the islands to the German Empire in 1884, they became part of German New Guinea in 1885. In World War II, the United States conquered the islands in the Gilbert and Marshall Islands campaign. Along with other Pacific Islands, the Marshall Islands were then consolidated into the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands governed by the US. Self-government was achieved in 1979, full sovereignty in 1986, under a Compact of Free Association with the United States. Marshall Islands has been a United Nations member state since 1991.Marshall Islands – Marshall Islanders sailing in traditional costume, circa 1899-1900.
8. Nauru – Nauru, officially the Republic of Nauru and formerly known as Pleasant Island, is an island country in Micronesia in the Central Pacific. Its nearest neighbour is Banaba Island in 300 kilometres to the east. Settled from Micronesia and Polynesia, Nauru was annexed and claimed as a colony by the German Empire in the late 19th century. After World War I, Nauru became a League of Nations mandate administered by Australia, the United Kingdom. During World War II, Nauru was occupied by Japanese troops, who were bypassed by the Allied advance across the Pacific. After the war ended, the country entered into UN trusteeship. Nauru gained its independence in 1968. Nauru is a phosphate island with rich deposits near the surface, which allowed easy strip mining operations. It has some remaining phosphate resources which, as of 2011, are not economically viable for extraction. Nauru boasted the highest per-capita income enjoyed during the late 1960s and early 1970s. To earn income, Nauru briefly became illegal money laundering centre. From 2001 again from 2012, it accepted aid from the Australian Government in exchange for hosting the Nauru detention centre. As a result of heavy dependence on Australia, many sources have identified Nauru as a state of Australia. The president of Nauru is Baron Waqa, who heads a unicameral parliament. The country is a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations, the Pacific Islands Forum.Nauru – A Nauruan warrior, 1880.
9. New Zealand – New Zealand /njuːˈziːlənd/ is an island nation in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—that of the North Island, or Te Ika-a-Māui, the South Island, or Te Waipounamu—and numerous smaller islands. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long period of isolation, New Zealand developed a distinct biodiversity of animal, fungal and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland. Sometime between 1250 and 1300 CE, Polynesians settled in the islands that later were named New Zealand and developed a distinctive Māori culture. In 1642, Dutch explorer Abel Tasman became the first European to sight New Zealand. In 1840, representatives of Britain and Māori chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, which declared British sovereignty over the islands. In 1841, New Zealand became a colony within the British Empire and in 1907 it became a dominion. Reflecting this, New Zealand's culture is mainly derived from Māori and early British settlers, with recent broadening arising from increased immigration. The official languages are English, Māori and New Zealand Sign Language, with English predominant. New Zealand is a developed country with a market economy. New Zealand is ranks highly in international comparisons of national performance, such as health, economic quality of life. Queen Elizabeth II is the country's head of state and is represented by a governor-general.New Zealand – The Waitangi sheet from the Treaty of Waitangi
10. Palau – Palau, officially the Republic of Palau, is an island country with a population of 17,948 on 465 km2, located in the western Pacific Ocean. It contains approximately 250 islands, which form the western chain of the Caroline Islands in Micronesia. The most populous of these is Koror. The Ngerulmud is located on the nearby island of Babeldaob, in Melekeok State. Palau shares maritime boundaries with Indonesia, the Federated States of Micronesia. The country sustained a Negrito population until around 900 years ago. The islands were made part of the Spanish East Indies in 1574. Along with other Pacific Islands, Palau was made a part of the Pacific Islands in 1947. Politically, Palau is a presidential republic in free association with the United States, which provides defense, access to social services. Legislative power is concentrated in the bicameral Palau National Congress. Palau's economy is based mainly with a significant portion of gross national product derived from foreign aid. The country uses the United States dollar as its currency. The islands' culture mixes Japanese, Micronesian and Melanesian elements. The majority of citizens are of mixed Micronesian, Melanesian, Austronesian descent, with significant groups descended from Filipino settlers. The country's two official languages are Palauan and English, with Japanese, Sonsorolese, Tobian recognised as regional languages.Palau – Map of 1888 showing the Spanish East Indies, being part of it Palau Islands (map without Philippines)
11. Papua New Guinea – Its capital, located along its southeastern coast, is Port Moresby. The western half of New Guinea forms the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua. Most of the population of over 7 million people live in customary communities, which are as diverse as the languages. It is also one of the most rural, as only 18 percent of its people live in urban centres. Papua New Guinea is classified as a developing economy by the International Monetary Fund. Mining remains a economic factor, however, with talks of resuming mining operations in the previously closed-off Panguna ongoing with the local and national governments. Nearly 40 percent of the population lives a self-sustainable natural lifestyle with no access to global capital. These societies and clans are explicitly acknowledged within the nation's constitutional framework. Archaeological evidence indicates that humans first arrived in Papua New Guinea around 42,000 to 45,000 years ago. A major migration of Austronesian speaking peoples to coastal regions of New Guinea took place around 500 BC. This has been correlated with the introduction of certain fishing techniques. On Goaribari Island in the Gulf of Papua, a missionary, Harry Dauncey, found 10,000 skulls in the island's Long Houses. Traders from Southeast Asia had visited New Guinea beginning 5,000 years ago to collect bird of paradise plumes. The country's dual name results from its complex administrative history before independence. The papua is derived from an local term of uncertain origin.Papua New Guinea – Kerepunu villagers, British New Guinea, 1885.
12. Samoa – The Independent State of Samoa, commonly known as Samoa and, until 1997, known as Western Samoa, is a unitary parliamentary democracy with eleven administrative divisions. The two main islands are Savai'i and Upolu with four smaller islands surrounding the landmasses. The city is Apia. The Lapita people settled the Samoan islands around 3,500 years ago. They developed cultural identity. Western Samoa was admitted on 15 December 1976. The entire group, which includes American Samoa, was called "Navigator Islands" by European explorers before the 20th century because of the Samoans' seafaring skills. Official languages are English and Samoan, also spoken in American Samoa. The origins of the Samoans are closely studied in various scientific disciplines such as genetics, linguistics and anthropology. Contact with Europeans began in the 18th century. A Dutchman, was the first known European to sight the Samoan islands in 1722. This visit was followed by French explorer Louis-Antoine de Bougainville, who named the Navigator Islands in 1768. Contact was limited before the 1830s, when English traders began arriving. Mission work in Samoa had begun by John Williams, of the London Missionary Society arriving in Sapapali'i from The Cook Islands and Tahiti. The United States formed alliances with local native chieftains, most conspicuously on the islands of Tutuila and Manu'a.Samoa – Studio photo depicting preparation of the Samoa 'ava ceremony c. 1911.
13. Solomon Islands – Honiara, is located on the island of Guadalcanal. The islands have been inhabited for thousands of years. In 1568, the Spanish navigator Álvaro de Mendaña was the first European to visit them, naming the Islas Salomón. The official name of the then overseas territory was changed from "the British Solomon Islands Protectorate" to "Solomon Islands" in 1975. Self-government was achieved in 1976; independence was obtained two years later. Solomon Islands is a constitutional monarchy with the Queen of Solomon Islands, currently Queen Elizabeth II, as its head of state. Manasseh Sogavare is the prime minister. It is said that they were given this name in the mistaken assumption that they contained great riches. During most of the period of British rule the territory was officially named "the British Solomon Islands Protectorate". On June 1975 the territory was renamed "Solomon Islands". When Solomon Islands became independent in 1978 they retained the name. "the", is not part of the country's official name but is sometimes used, both within and outside the country. It is believed that Papuan-speaking settlers began to arrive around 30,000 BC. Austronesian speakers arrived c. 4000 BC also bringing cultural elements such as the canoe. The Lapita people, arrived from the Bismarck Archipelago with their characteristic ceramics.Solomon Islands
14. Tonga – Tonga, officially the Kingdom of Tonga, is a Polynesian sovereign state and archipelago comprising 169 islands of which 36 are inhabited. The total area is about 750 square kilometres scattered over 700,000 square kilometres of the southern Pacific Ocean. It has a population of 103,000 people of whom 70% reside on the main island of Tongatapu. Tonga stretches across approximately 800 kilometres in a north-south line. Tonga became known in the West as the Friendly Islands because of the congenial reception accorded to Captain James Cook on his first visit in 1773. According to the writer William Mariner, the chiefs could not agree on a plan. From 1900 to 1970, Tonga had protected state status, with the United Kingdom looking after its foreign affairs under a Treaty of Friendship. The country never relinquished its sovereignty to any foreign power. In Polynesian languages including Tongan, the word tonga means "south", as the archipelago is the southernmost group of the islands of central Polynesia. The name of Tonga is cognate to the Hawaiian region of Kona. In Malay, the name of "Tonga" is also cognate to the word "Tenggara". An Austronesian-speaking group linked to the archaeological construct known as the Lapita cultural complex reached and inhabited Tonga around 1500–1000 BCE. In the 15th century and again in the 17th, civil war erupted. The Tongan people first encountered Europeans in 1616 when the Dutch Eendracht, captained by Willem Schouten, made a short visit to trade. Later came other Dutch explorers, including Jacob Le Maire; and in 1643 Abel Tasman.Tonga – The arrival of Abel Tasman in Tongatapu, 1643, drawing by Isaack Gilsemans.
15. Tuvalu – Tuvalu has a population of 10,640. The total land area of the islands of Tuvalu is 26 square kilometres. The first inhabitants of Tuvalu were Polynesians. A referendum was held in December 1974 to determine whether the Gilbert Islands and Ellice Islands should each have their own administration. Tuvalu became fully independent within the Commonwealth on 1 October 1978. On 5 September 2000 Tuvalu became the 189th member of the United Nations. The origins of the people of Tuvalu are addressed in the theories regarding migration into the Pacific that began about 3000 years ago. During pre-European-contact times there was frequent canoe voyaging between the nearer islands including Samoa and Tonga. Eight of the nine islands of Tuvalu were inhabited; thus the name, Tuvalu, means "eight standing together" in Tuvaluan. Possible evidence of fire in the Caves of Nanumanga may indicate human occupation for thousands of years. The stories as to the ancestors of the Tuvaluans vary from island to island. On Niutao, Funafuti and Vaitupu the founding ancestor is described as being from Samoa; whereas on Nanumea the founding ancestor is described as being from Tonga. Mendaña made contact with the islanders but was unable to land. During Mendaña's second voyage across the Pacific he passed Niulakita on 29 August 1595, which he named La Solitaria. Captain John Byron passed during his circumnavigation of the globe as captain of the Dolphin.Tuvalu – Lat. and Long. 8°19′S 179°08′E / 8.32°S 179.13°E / -8.32; 179.13 (Funafuti)
16. Vanuatu – Vanuatu, officially the Republic of Vanuatu, is a Pacific island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean. Vanuatu was first inhabited by Melanesian people. The first Europeans to visit the islands were a Spanish expedition led by Portuguese Fernandes de Queirós, who arrived in 1606. An independence movement arose in the 1970s, the Republic of Vanuatu was founded in 1980. Vanuatu's name is derived from the word vanua, which occurs in several Austronesian languages, the word tu. Together the two words indicated the independent status of the new country. The prehistory of Vanuatu is obscure; archaeological evidence supports the theory that people speaking Austronesian languages first came to the islands about 3,300 years ago. Pottery fragments have been found dating to 1300–1100 BC. The Spanish established a short-lived settlement on the side of the island. The name Espiritu Santo remains to this day. Europeans did not return until 1768, when Louis Antoine de Bougainville rediscovered the islands. In 1774, Captain Cook named a name that would last until independence in 1980. During the 1860s, planters in need of labourers, encouraged a indentured labour trade called "blackbirding". At the height of the trade, the adult male population of several of the islands worked abroad. Fragmentary evidence indicates that the current population of Vanuatu is greatly reduced compared to pre-contact times.Vanuatu – James Cook landing at Tanna island, c. 1774
17. Chile – It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, the Drake Passage in the far south. Chilean territory includes the Pacific islands of Juan Fernández, Salas y Gómez, Easter Island in Oceania. Chile also claims about 1,250,000 square kilometres of Antarctica, although all claims are suspended under the Antarctic Treaty. The arid Atacama Desert in northern Chile contains great wealth, principally copper. Southern Chile features a string of volcanoes and lakes. The southern coast is a labyrinth of fjords, inlets, canals, islands. After declaring its independence from Spain in 1818, Chile emerged as a relatively stable authoritarian republic. In the 1970s the country experienced severe left-right political polarization and turmoil. Chile is today one of South America's most prosperous nations. It leads American nations in rankings of human development, competitiveness, income per capita, globalization, state of peace, economic freedom, low perception of corruption. It also ranks high regionally of the state and democratic development. Chile is a founding member of the United Nations, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States. There are various theories about the origin of the word Chile. Another origin attributed to chilli is the onomatopoeic cheele-cheele—the Mapuche imitation of the warble of a bird locally known as trile. Ultimately, Almagro is credited after naming the Mapocho valley as such.Chile – The Mapuche people were the original inhabitants of southern and central Chile.
18. Easter Island – Easter Island is a Chilean island in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, at the southeasternmost point of the Polynesian Triangle. Easter Island is famous for called moai, created by the early Rapa Nui people. In 1995, UNESCO named a World Heritage Site, with much of the island protected within Rapa Nui National Park. By the time of European arrival in 1722, the island's population had dropped to 2,000–3,000 from an estimated high of approximately 15,000 just a century earlier. Peruvian slave raiding in the 1860s further reduced the Rapa Nui population, to a low of only 111 inhabitants in 1877. Easter Island is one of the most inhabited islands in the world. Easter Island is a special territory of Chile, annexed in 1888. Administratively, it belongs to the Valparaíso Region, and, more specifically, it is the only commune of the Province Isla de Pascua. According to the 2012 Chilean census, the island has about 5,800 residents, of whom some 60 percent are descendants of the aboriginal Rapa Nui. Easter Island is considered part of Insular Chile. Roggeveen named it Paasch-Eyland. Isla de Pascua, also means "Easter Island". However, Norwegian ethnographer Thor Heyerdahl argued that Rapa Iti was named by refugees from there. William Churchill was told that there were three te pito o te henua, these being the three capes of the island. The phrase appears to have been used at the tip of Cornwall.Easter Island – UNESCO World Heritage Site
19. Indonesia – Indonesia, officially the Republic of Indonesia, is a unitary sovereign state and transcontinental country located mainly in Southeast Asia with some territories in Oceania. Situated between the Indian and Pacific oceans, it is the world's largest country, with more than thousand islands. The world's most populous island of Java contains more than half of the country's population. Indonesia's form of government includes president. Indonesia has 34 provinces, of which five have Special Administrative status. Its capital and most populous city is Jakarta. The country shares land borders with the eastern part of Malaysia. Other neighbouring countries include Singapore, the Philippines, the Indian territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Despite its large population and densely populated regions, Indonesia has vast areas of wilderness that support the world's second highest level of biodiversity. The country has natural resources like natural gas, tin, copper and gold. Agriculture mainly produces rice, palm oil, tea, coffee, cacao, rubber. Indonesia's major trading partners are Japan, the surrounding countries of Singapore, Malaysia and Australia. Local rulers gradually absorbed foreign cultural, religious and political models from the early centuries CE, Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms flourished. Indonesian history has been influenced by foreign powers drawn to its natural resources. Indonesia also take a part to support Africa and Asian nations to oppose against any colonialism or neocolonialism.Indonesia – A Borobudur ship carved on Borobudur, c. 800 CE. Indonesian outrigger boats may have made trade voyages to the east coast of Africa as early as the 1st century CE.
20. West Papua (province) – West Papua is a province of Indonesia. It covers the two western peninsulas of the island of New Guinea. Its capital is Manokwari, although the largest city is Sorong, the 2010 census recorded a population of 760,855; the latest official estimate is 877,437. The province covers the Bird's Head and Bomberai peninsulas and the surrounding islands of Raja Ampat. With a population of 877,437 in 2014, it is the least populous province of Indonesia except for the newly created province of North Kalimantan. Even after Indonesia's independence in 1945, Papua and Irian Jaya were retained by the Dutch for various reasons. However, Indonesia claimed all of the territory of the former Dutch East Indies, including the Dutch New Guinea holdings, so it invaded Irian Jaya in 1961. This vote was referred to as the'Act of Free Choice'. But, the vote was in fact conducted by consensus decision-making, or consensus of elders, numbering 1,000 of these men had been selected by the Indonesian military. This body was coerced into unanimously voting to remain part of Indonesia; the territory was named as the province of Irian Jaya, later Papua. The result of the compromised vote was rejected by Papuan nationalists, who established the Free Papua Movement. The movement for West Papua has continued, primarily through international pressure, but also warfare against Indonesian administration. In November 2004, an Indonesian court agreed that the split violated Papua's autonomy laws. However, the court ruled that because the new province had already been created, it should remain separate from Papua. The ruling also prohibited the creation of another proposed province, Central Irian Jaya, as that division had not yet been formalised.West Papua (province) – Raja Ampat Islands
21. Papua (province) – Special Region of Papua is the largest and easternmost province of Indonesia. It lies in West Papua region, which comprises the Indonesian western half of the island of New Guinea and nearby islands. Papua is bordered by the nation of Papua New Guinea to the east, by West Papua province to the west. Its capital is Jayapura. It was formerly called Irian Jaya and comprised all of Indonesian New Guinea. In 2002 the current name was adopted and in 2003 West Papua province was created within West Papua region from western parts of Papua province. "Papua" is the official Indonesian and internationally recognised name for the province. During the Dutch colonial era the region was known as part of "Dutch New Guinea" or "Netherlands New Guinea". Since its annexation in 1969, it became known as "West Irian" or "Irian Barat" until 1973, thereafter renamed "Irian Jaya" by the Suharto administration. This was the official name until the name "Papua" was adopted in 2002. Today, the indigenous inhabitants of this province prefer to call themselves Papuans. The other Indonesian province that shares New Guinea, West Irian Jaya, has been officially renamed as West Papua, or Papua Barat. Within Indonesia and West Papua itself,'Papua' usually refers to the entire western half of New Guinea despite its division into separate provinces. Western New Guinea is generally referred to as'West Papua' internationally – especially among networks of international solidarity with the West Papuan independence movement. The province of Papua is governed by a directly elected governor and a regional legislature, DPRP.Papua (province) – Peak of Puncak Jaya
22. Japan – Japan is an island nation in East Asia. It is often called the "Land of the Rising Sun". Japan is a stratovolcanic archipelago of 6,852 islands. Largest are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku, which make up about ninety-seven percent of Japan's land area. The country is divided into 47 prefectures in eight regions. The population of million is the world's tenth largest. Japanese people make up 98.5% of Japan's total population. Approximately million people live in the core city of Tokyo, the capital of Japan. Archaeological research indicates that Japan was inhabited early as the Upper Paleolithic period. The first written mention of Japan is in Chinese history texts from the 1st AD. Influence from other regions, mainly China, followed from Western Europe, has characterized Japan's history. From the 12th century until 1868, Japan was ruled by successive military shoguns who ruled in the name of the Emperor. Since adopting its revised constitution in 1947, Japan has maintained a constitutional monarchy with an Emperor and an elected legislature called the National Diet. Japan is considered a great power. The country has the world's fourth-largest economy by purchasing power parity.Japan – The Golden Hall and five-storey pagoda of Hōryū-ji, among the oldest wooden buildings in the world, National Treasures, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site
23. Ogasawara, Tokyo – Ogasawara is a village in Ogasawara Subprefecture, Tokyo Metropolis, Japan, that governs the Bonin Islands, Volcano Islands and three remote islands. 1,900 km further east is Minamitorishima. The population of the municipality resides on Chichi-jima and Haha-jima. The administration and hall is located in the village of Omura on Chichi-jima. In addition, there is an base with 400 soldiers on Iwojima of the Volcano Islands. Tokyo Metropolitan Government Board of Education operates Ogasawara High School on Chichi-jima. Ogasawara Subprefecture Bonin Islands Ogasawara Village The Bonin Islands Language and Culture Site Ogasawara Channel "Ogasawara moist forests". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund. National Archives of Japan: The faked map of 1752 mentioned in Hiroyuki Tanaka's 1998 article. Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Ogasawara-mura: maps/photosOgasawara, Tokyo – Port of Futami, Chichi-jima
24. United States – Forty-eight of the federal district are contiguous and located in North America between Canada and Mexico. The state of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific. The territories are scattered about the Caribbean Sea. Nine time zones are covered. The geography, wildlife of the country are extremely diverse. At with over 324 million people, the United States is the world's fourth-largest country by total area and the third-most populous. It is home to the world's largest immigrant population. Urbanization leads to growing megaregions. Paleo-Indians migrated to the North American mainland at least 15,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century. The United States emerged along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between the colonies in the aftermath of the Seven Years' War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, after the Articles of Confederation, adopted in 1781, were felt to have provided federal powers. The first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, were designed to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties. During the second half of the 19th century, the American Civil War led in the country.United States – Native Americans meeting with Europeans, 1764
25. Hawaii – Hawaii is the 50th and most recent state to have joined the United States of America, having received statehood on August 21, 1959. Hawaii is the only one composed entirely of islands. It is the northernmost group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean. Hawaii is the only U.S. state not located in the Americas. The state does not observe daylight time. The state encompasses nearly the entire Hawaiian archipelago, which comprises hundreds of islands spread over 1,500 miles. The archipelago is ethnologically part of the Polynesian subregion of Oceania. Hawaii has over a million permanent residents, along with U.S. military personnel. Its capital is Honolulu on the island of Oʻahu. The 13th-most densely populated of the fifty U.S. states. It is the only state with an Asian plurality. The state's coastline is about 750 miles long, the fourth longest in the U.S. after the coastlines of Alaska, Florida and California. The state of Hawaii derives its name from the name of Hawaiʻi. A Hawaiian explanation of the name of Hawaiʻi is, named for Hawaiʻiloa, a legendary figure from Hawaiian myth. He is said to have discovered the islands when they were first settled.Hawaii – Hawaii from space, January 26, 2014
26. Palmyra Atoll – Palmyra Atoll is an unoccupied equatorial Northern Pacific atoll administered as an unorganized incorporated territory by the United States federal government. Palmyra is one of the Northern Line Islands, located almost due south of the Hawaiian Islands, roughly one-third of the way between Hawaii and American Samoa. The nearest continent is almost 5400 km to the northeast. It is located in the equatorial Northern Pacific Ocean. Its 9 mi of coastline has one anchorage known as West Lagoon. The islets of the atoll are mostly connected. The two Home Islets in the west and Barren Island in the east are not. The largest island is Cooper Island in the north, followed by Kaula Island in the south. Annual rainfall is approximately 175 in per year. Daytime temperatures average 85 ° F round. Palmyra is an incorporated territory of the United States, meaning that it is subject to all provisions of the U.S. Constitution and is permanently under American sovereignty. However, since Palmyra is also an unorganized territory, there is no Act of Congress specifying how Palmyra should be governed. Palmyra has no permanent residents; however, in 2004 accommodations were built to support a small number of temporary inhabitants. Palmyra is the only incorporated territory of the United States.Palmyra Atoll – Palmyra Atoll viewed from the northwest, 2011
27. Realm of New Zealand – The Realm of New Zealand is the entire area in which the Queen of New Zealand is head of state. New Zealand is an sovereign state. It has the Ross Dependency; one dependent territory, Tokelau; and two associated states, the Cook Islands and Niue. The King/Queen of New Zealand, represented by the Governor-General of New Zealand, is head of state throughout the Realm of New Zealand. The exact scope of the realm is defined by the 1983 Letters Patent constituting the office of Governor-General. It constitutes one of 16 realms within the Commonwealth. Niue became New Zealand's first Pacific colonies in 1901 and then protectorates. From 1965 the Cooks were self-governing; so was Niue from 1974. Tokelau remains a non-self-governing territory. The British government entrusted it to the administration of New Zealand. It is largely uninhabited, apart from scientific bases. Further conditions apply for those born from 2006 onwards. A governor-general represents the head of state in the area of the realm. Essentially, Governors-General take on reserve powers of the head of state. Until 31 August 2016 the Governor-General was Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae.Realm of New Zealand – New Zealand
28. Niue – Its population, predominantly Polynesian, is around 1,612 as of November 2016. They commonly refer to the traditional name "Rock of Polynesia". Queen Elizabeth II is head of state in her capacity as Queen of New Zealand. Between 90–95% of Niuean people live in New Zealand, along with about 70% of the speakers of the Niuean language. A bilingual country, over 30 % speak both Niuean and English, though the percentage of English-speaking people is only 11 %, while 46 % are monolingual Niuean speakers. Rugby is the most played sport in Niue. In October 2016, Niue officially declared that there is no longer any national debt in Niue. Niue is subdivided into 14 villages. Each village has a council that elects its chairman. The villages are at the same time electoral districts. Each village sends an assemblyman to the Parliament of Niue. In 2003, Niue became the first country in the world to offer wireless internet to all its inhabitants. Niue Island Organic Farmers Association is currently paving way to an MEA committed to making the world's first fully organic nation. A leader in Niue is also transitioning to solar power, with help from the European Union. In 2015, Niue started providing phone landlines to all of its inhabitants.Niue – Interior of church building in Alofi, 1896. Photo by Thomas Andrew (1855–1939).
29. Cook Islands – The Cook Islands is a self-governing island country in the South Pacific Ocean in free association with New Zealand. It comprises 15 islands whose land area is 240 square kilometres. The Cook Islands' Exclusive Economic Zone, however, covers 1,800,000 square kilometres of ocean. They are exercised in consultation with the Cook Islands. In recent times, the Cook Islands have adopted an increasingly independent foreign policy. Although Cook Islanders are citizens of New Zealand, they have the status of Cook Islands nationals, not given to other New Zealand citizens. The Cook Islands' main population centres are on the island of Rarotonga, where there is an international airport. There is a larger population of Cook Islanders in New Zealand, particularly the North Island. In the 2006 census, 58,008 self-identified as being of ethnic Cook Islands Māori descent. The Cook Islands are in the South Pacific Ocean, northeast of New Zealand, between American Samoa. The islands were formed by volcanic activity; the northern group consists of six atolls, which are sunken volcanoes topped by coral growth. The climate is moderate to tropical. Palmerston Island sometimes grouped with the Northern Group. In 1813 John Williams, a missionary on the Endeavour made the first recorded sighting of Rarotonga. The islands saw no more Europeans until missionaries arrived in 1821.Cook Islands – Tapuaetai (One Foot Island) in the southern part of Aitutaki Atoll
30. Ashmore and Cartier Islands – Ashmore Reef is called Pulau Pasir by Indonesians and it is called Nusa Solokaek in the Rote Island language. Both names have the meaning "sand island". The Territory comprises Ashmore Reef, which includes West, Middle, East Islands, two lagoons, Cartier Reef, which includes Cartier Island. Ashmore Reef covers 9 km2 both to the limits of the reefs. They have a total of 74.1 km of shoreline, measured along the outer edge of the reef. Australia also claims a 12 nautical sea generated by the islands. East Islands have a combined area variously reported as 54 ha, 93 ha, 112 ha. Cartier Island has a reported land area of 0.4 ha. The Act authorised the Governor of Western Australia to make Ordinances for the Territory. In July 1938 the Territory was annexed to the Northern Territory, then also administered by the Commonwealth, whose regulations applied to the Territory. When self-government was granted to the Northern Territory on 1 July 1978, administration of the Territory was retained by the Commonwealth. However, the Indonesian government does not appear to actively contest Australia's sovereignty of the Territory. The Attorney-General's Department had been responsible for the administration of Australian territories until the 2010 federal election. Nearby 42 northeast of Ashmore Reef, is not part of the Territory, but belongs to Western Australia. It has no permanently dry land area, although large parts of the reef become exposed during low tide.Ashmore and Cartier Islands – NASA satellite image of Ashmore Reef
31. Christmas Island – Several languages are in use, including English, various Chinese dialects, while Buddhism is the primary religion, followed by three-quarters of the population. The first European to the island was Richard Rowe of the Thomas in 1615. The island was later named on Christmas Day 1643 by Captain William Mynors, but only settled in the 19th century. 63 % of its 135 square kilometres is an national park. There exist large areas of monsoonal forest. Phosphate, deposited originally as guano, has been mined on the island for many years. Located at 10 ° 30 ′ S ° 40 ′ E, the island is about 19 kilometres in greatest length and 14.5 km in breadth. The total area is 135 square kilometres, with 138.9 km of coastline. The terrain supports numerous anchialine caves. Steep cliffs along much of the coast rise abruptly to a central plateau. Elevation ranges to 361 m at Murray Hill. The island is mainly 63 % of, national park land. The narrow reef surrounding the island can be a maritime hazard. Its closest point to the Australian mainland is 1,560 km from the town of Exmouth, Western Australia. Only small parts of the shoreline are easily accessible.Christmas Island – Poon Saan in the evening
32. Cocos (Keeling) Islands – The islands have been called the Cocos Islands, the Keeling Islands, the Cocos–Keeling Islands and the Keeling–Cocos Islands. Cocos refers to the abundant coconut trees, while Keeling is William Keeling, reputedly the first European to sight the islands, in 1609. The form Cocos Islands, attested from 1916, was made official by the Cocos Islands Act 1955. The climate is pleasant, moderated by the southeast trade winds for about nine months of the year and with moderate rainfall. Tropical cyclones may occur in the early months of the year. The island measures 1.1 square kilometres in land area and is uninhabited. The lagoon is about 0.5 square kilometres. North Keeling Island and the surrounding sea to 1.5 km from shore form the Pulu Keeling National Park, established on 12 December 1995. It is home to the only surviving population of the endemic, endangered, Cocos Buff-banded Rail. South Keeling Islands is an atoll consisting of 24 individual islets forming an incomplete atoll ring, with a total land area of 13.1 square kilometres. Only Home Island and West Island are populated. The Cocos Malays maintain weekend shacks, referred to as pondoks, on most of the larger islands. There are no rivers or lakes on either atoll. Fresh water resources are limited to water lenses on the larger islands, underground accumulations of rainwater lying above the seawater. These lenses are accessed through shallow bores or wells.Cocos (Keeling) Islands
33. Coral Sea Islands – The only island is Willis Island. The Coral Sea Islands were first charted in 1803. The absence of a reliable supply of fresh water prevented long-term habitation. The islands, reefs of the Great Barrier Reef are not part of the territory, belonging to Queensland instead. The outer edge of the Great Barrier Reef is the boundary between the Coral Sea Islands Territory. The territory is a possession or external territory of Australia, administered by the Attorney-General's Department. The territory is visited regularly by the Royal Australian Navy. Australia claims a 200-nautical-mile exclusive fishing zone. Only a staff of three or four people to run the meteorological station on Willis Island, established in 1921. In November 2011 the Australian government announced that a protected area was planned in the Coral Sea. As applicable, the laws of the Australian Capital Territory apply on the Coral Sea Islands. The territory's FIPS 10-4 code is CR, whereas ISO 3166 includes it in Australia. The islands are all very low. The Willis Islets contain negligible natural resources. They comprise less than three square kilometres of land.Coral Sea Islands – Stony corals
34. Norfolk Island – The island is part of the Commonwealth of Australia. Together with two neighbouring islands, it forms one of Australia's external territories. It has 1,796 inhabitants living on a total area of about 35 km2. Its capital is Kingston. On 8 permanent civilian residence on the island began when it was settled from Pitcairn Island. In 1914 the UK handed Norfolk Island over to Australia to administer as an external territory. The evergreen Norfolk Island pine thus pictured on its flag. Norfolk Island was settled by East Polynesian seafarers either from the North Island of New Zealand. They survived for several generations before disappearing. He named it after Mary Howard, Duchess of Norfolk. Sir John Call argued the advantages of Norfolk Island in that New Zealand flax grew there. In 1786 the British government included Norfolk Island as an auxiliary settlement, as proposed in its plan for colonisation of New South Wales. The decision to settle Norfolk Island was taken due to Empress Catherine II of Russia's decision to restrict sales of hemp. Practically flax required by the Royal Navy for cordage and sailcloth was imported from Russia. They arrived on 6 March 1788.Norfolk Island – Norfolk Island gaol
35. American Samoa – American Samoa is an unincorporated territory of the United States located in the South Pacific Ocean, southeast of Samoa. American Samoa consists of two coral atolls. The largest and most populous island is Tutuila, with the Manuʻa Islands, Swains Island also included in the territory. American Samoa is part of the Samoan Islands chain, located west of the Cook Islands, some 300 miles south of Tokelau. To the west are the islands of the Wallis and Futuna group. The 2010 census showed a total population of 55,519 people. The total land area is 199 square kilometers, slightly more than Washington, D.C. American Samoa is the southernmost territory of the U.S. and one of two U.S. territories south of the Equator. The main trading partner is the United States. During the 1918 pandemic, the 12th governor of American Samoa John Martin Poyer quarantined the territory. Because of his actions, American Samoa was one of the few places in the world where no flu-related deaths occurred. American Samoa is noted for having the highest rate of military enlistment of territory. Most American Samoans can speak English and Samoan fluently. Samoan is the same language spoken in independent Samoa. Contact with Europeans began in the 18th century.American Samoa – Coastline of American Samoa
36. Baker Island – Baker Island /ˈbeɪkər/ is an uninhabited atoll located just north of the equator in the central Pacific Ocean about 3,090 km southwest of Honolulu. The island lies almost halfway between Hawaii and Australia. Located at 176 ° 28 46 ″ W. The island covers 2.1 km2, with 4.8 km of coastline. The climate is equatorial, with strong sunshine. The island now is an unorganized territory of the U.S. which vouches for its defense. It is visited annually by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. For statistical purposes, Baker is grouped with the United States Minor Outlying Islands. A rubble from earlier settlements are located near the middle of the west coast, where the boat area is located. There are no harbors, with available only offshore. The narrow reef surrounding the island can be a maritime hazard, so there is a beacon near the old village site. Baker's abandoned World War II runway, 5,463 ft long, is completely covered with vegetation and is unserviceable. The United States claims an Exclusive Economic Zone of 200 nautical miles and territorial sea of 12 nmi around Baker Island. During a 1935–1942 colonization attempt, the island was most likely on Hawaii time, then 10.5 hours behind UTC. It lies within 12 hours behind UTC.Baker Island – Baker Island coastline with red-footed booby
37. Guam – Guam is an unincorporated and organized territory of the United States. Located in the western Pacific Ocean, Guam is one of five American territories with an civilian government. The most populous city is Dededo. In 2015, 161,785 people resided on Guam. Guamanians are American citizens by birth. Guam has a population density of 297/km ². It is the largest island in Micronesia. Among its municipalities, Mongmong-Toto-Maite has the highest density at 1,425/km², whereas Inarajan and Umatac have the lowest density at 47/km². The highest point is Mount Lamlam at 406 meters above level. Guam's indigenous people, settled the island approximately 4,000 years ago. Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan was the first European to visit the island on March 1521. Guam was colonized in 1668 like Diego Luis de San Vitores, a Catholic missionary. Between the 1700s, Guam was an important stopover for the Spanish Manila Galleons. During the Spanish -- American War, the United States captured Guam on June 1898. Under the Treaty of Paris, Spain ceded Guam on December 10, 1898.Guam – Marines laying fire on a Japanese sniper nest (July 28, 1944).
38. Howland Island – Howland Island /ˈhaʊlənd/ is an uninhabited coral island located just north of the equator in the central Pacific Ocean, about 1,700 nautical miles southwest of Honolulu. The island is an unincorporated, unorganized territory of the United States. Together with Baker Island it forms part of the Phoenix Islands. For statistical purposes, Howland is grouped as one of the United States Minor Outlying Islands. Howland is located at 176 ° 36 ′ 59 ″ W. It covers 1,112 acres, with 4 miles of coastline. The island has an elongated plantain-shape on a north-south axis. There is no lagoon. Howland Island National Wildlife Refuge consists of the surrounding 32,074 acres of submerged land. The atoll has no economic activity. Airstrips constructed to accommodate her planned stopover were subsequently damaged, gradually disappeared. There docks. The fringing reefs may pose a maritime hazard. There is a boat landing area along the middle on the west coast, as well as a crumbling day beacon. The island is visited every two years by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.Howland Island – Howland Island seen from space
39. Jarvis Island – Jarvis Island is an uninhabited 1 3⁄4-square-mile coral island located in the South Pacific Ocean at 0°22′S 160°01′W, about halfway between Hawaii and the Cook Islands. Unlike most coral atolls, the lagoon on Jarvis is wholly dry. Jarvis for statistical purposes is also grouped as one of the United States Minor Outlying Islands. Swift currents are a hazard. The center of Jarvis island is a dried lagoon which were mined for about 20 years during the nineteenth century. The island has a tropical climate, with high daytime temperatures, constant wind, strong sun. Nights, however, are quite cool. The ground reaches 23 feet at its highest point. The low-lying island has long been noted as hard to sight from small ships and is surrounded by a narrow fringing reef. Located only 25 miles south of the equator, Jarvis has scant rainfall. This creates a very bleak, flat landscape without any plants larger than shrubs. There is no evidence that the island has ever supported a human population. Its sparse bunch grass, low-growing shrubs are primarily a nesting, roosting, foraging habitat for seabirds, shorebirds, marine wildlife. In March 1857 the island was formally annexed on February 27, 1858. Beginning in 1858, several support structures were built on Jarvis Island, along with a eight-room "superintendent's house" featuring an observation cupola and wide verandahs.Jarvis Island – Western shore of Jarvis Island with day beacon at the site of Millersville in October 2003
40. Johnston Atoll – The islands are visited annually by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Public entry is only by special-use permit from the United States Air Force. For nearly 70 years, the atoll was under the control of the American military. Monitoring continue. The atoll, located on a platform, has four islands. Johnston Island and Sand Island are both natural features, while Akau and Hikina are two artificial islands formed by dredging. The four islands compose a total land area of 2.67 square kilometres. Due to the atoll's tilt, much of the reef on the southeast portion has subsided. The climate is tropical but generally dry. There is seasonal temperature variation. The Western record of the atoll was on September 1796 when the Boston-based American brig Sally accidentally grounded on a shoal near the islands. However, he did not name or lay claim to the area. The islands were not officially named until Captain Charles J. Johnston of the Royal Naval ship HMS Cornwallis sighted them on December 14, 1807. In the following years, an occasional vessel stopped, but generally one look was enough. In 1858 William Parker and R. F. Ryan, chartered the schooner Palestine specifically to find Johnston Atoll.Johnston Atoll – Johnston Atoll is located between the Marshall Islands and the Hawaiian Islands
41. Kingman Reef – The reef encloses a lagoon up to 270 feet deep in its western part. The total area within the outer rim of the reef is 29 mi. It supports no economic activity. Kingman Reef has the status of an unincorporated territory of the United States, administered by theU.S. Department of Interior. The atoll is closed to the public. For statistical purposes, Kingman Reef is grouped as part of the United States Minor Outlying Islands. In January 2009, Kingman Reef was designated a national monument. The Island also has a flag. The pre-20th century names Danger Reef, Caldew Reef, Crane Shoal refer to this atoll, which by then was entirely submerged at high tide. Thomas Hale Streets described its state in the 1870s, when it had... hardly, as yet, assumed the distinctive features of an island. But a few coral heads project here and there above the surface at low water. In the course of time, however, it will undoubtedly be added to the. Kingman Reef was discovered on June 14, 1798. Captain W. E. Kingman described it on November 1853.Kingman Reef – Map of Kingman Reef
42. Midway Atoll – Midway Atoll is a 2.4-square-mile atoll in the North Pacific Ocean at 28°12′N 177°21′W. As its name suggests, Midway is roughly equidistant between North America and Asia. Midway Atoll is an unincorporated territory of the United States. Midway continues to be the only island in the Hawaiian archipelago, not part of the state of Hawaii. Unlike the Hawaiian islands, Midway observes Samoa Time, one hour behind the time in the state of Hawaii. For statistical purposes, Midway is grouped as one of the United States Minor Outlying Islands. Most of its surrounding area are part of the larger Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. Until 1993, the atoll was the home of the Naval Air Facility Midway. The United States Navy defeated a Japanese group marking a turning point in the war in the Pacific Theater. Approximately 40 to 60 people live on the atoll, which includes Wildlife Service and contract workers. At present, visitation to the atoll is possible only for business reasons as the program has been suspended due to budget cutbacks. In 2012, the last year that the program was in operation, 332 people made the trip to Midway. Tours focused on both the unique ecology of Midway well as its military history. The economy is derived solely from governmental sources and tourist fees. Nearly all supplies must be brought by ship or plane though a hydroponic greenhouse and garden supply some fresh fruits and vegetables.Midway Atoll – Satellite image of Midway Atoll
43. Northern Mariana Islands – The CNMI includes all islands in the Mariana Archipelago except Guam, the southernmost island of the chain and a separate U.S. territory. The United States Department of the Interior cites a landmass of 183.5 square miles. According to the 2010 United States Census, 53,883 people were living in the CNMI at that time. The vast majority of the population resides on Saipan, Tinian, Rota. The administrative center is Capitol Hill, a village in northwestern Saipan. However, most publications consider Saipan to be the capital because the island is governed as a single municipality. The first people of the Mariana Islands immigrated at some point between 4000 BC and 2000 BC from Southeast Asia. The ancient people of the Marianas raised colonnades of megalithic capped pillars called latte stones upon which they built their homes. The first European explorer of the area, the Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan, arrived in 1521. He landed on Guam, the southernmost island of the Marianas and claimed the archipelago for Spain. The Spanish ships were met offshore by the native Chamorros, who delivered refreshments and then helped themselves to a small boat belonging to Magellan's fleet. The Spanish did not understand this custom, fought the Chamorros until the boat was recovered. Three days after he had been welcomed on his arrival, Magellan fled the archipelago. Spain regarded the islands as annexed and later made them part of the Spanish East Indies. In 1734, the Spanish built a royal palace in Guam for the Governor of the islands.Northern Mariana Islands – Colonial tower, vestige of the ex-Spanish colony.
44. Wake Island – The island is an unorganized, unincorporated territory of the United States, also claimed by the Marshall Islands. Wake Island is administered by the United States Air Force, under agreement with the Department of the Interior. The 9,800-foot runway is the longest strategic runway in the Pacific islands. The Base Operations Support contractor at Wake is Chugach Alaska Corporation. About 94 people live on the island, access to it is restricted. For statistical purposes, Wake Island is grouped as one of the United States Minor Outlying Islands by the International Organization for Standardization. Wake Island derives its name from British sea captain Samuel Wake, who rediscovered the atoll in 1796 while in command of the Prince William Henry. The name is sometimes attributed to Captain William Wake, who also is reported to have discovered the atoll from the Prince William Henry in 1792. The closest land is the uninhabited Bokak Atoll 348 mi to the south east. Sea surface temperatures are warm all year long, reaching above 80 °F in summer and autumn. Typhoons occasionally pass over the island. On September 16, 1967, at 10:40 pm local time, the eye of Super Typhoon Sarah passed over the island. Sustained winds in the eyewall were 130 knots, from the north before the eye, from the south afterward. All non-reinforced structures were demolished. There were no serious injuries, the majority of the civilian population was evacuated after the storm.Wake Island – Map of Wake Island
45. French Polynesia – French Polynesia is an overseas collectivity of the French Republic; collectivité d'outre-mer de la République française, sometimes unofficially referred to as an overseas country; pays d'outre-mer. It is composed of 118 geographically dispersed atolls stretching over an expanse of more than 2,000 kilometres in the South Pacific Ocean. Its total area is 4,167 square kilometres. Among its 118 atolls, 67 are inhabited. Tahiti, located within the Society Islands, is the seat of the capital of the collectivity, Pape'ete. It has more than 68% of the population of the islands in 2012. Although not an integral part of its territory, Clipperton Island was administered until 2007. Following the Great Polynesian Migration, European explorers visited the islands of French Polynesia on several occasions. Traders and whaling ships also visited. In 1842, the French established a French protectorate they called Etablissements des français en Océanie. In 1946, Polynesians were granted the right to vote through citizenship. In 1957, the EFOs were renamed French Polynesia. French Polynesia as we know today was one of the last places on Earth to be settled by humans. The first islands of French Polynesia to be settled were the Marquesas Islands in about 200 BC. The Polynesians later discovered the Society Islands around AD 300.French Polynesia – A two-franc World War II emergency-issue banknote (1943), printed in Papeete, and depicting the outline of Tahiti on the reverse.
46. New Caledonia – New Caledonia is a special collectivity of France located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, 1,210 km east of Australia and 16,136 km east of Metropolitan France. The Chesterfield Islands are in the Coral Sea. Locals refer to Grande Terre as Le Caillou. New Caledonia has a area of 18,576 km2. The capital of the territory is Nouméa. The earliest traces of human presence in New Caledonia date back to the Lapita period. The Lapita were highly skilled agriculturists with influence over a large area of the Pacific. British explorer Captain James Cook was the first European to sight New Caledonia, during his second voyage. He named it "New Caledonia", as the northeast of the island reminded him of Scotland. From then until 1840, only a few sporadic contacts with the archipelago were recorded. Contacts became more frequent from New Caledonia. The trade ceased at the start of the 20th century. The victims of this trade were called "Kanakas", after the Hawaiian word for "man". The first missionaries from the Marist Brothers arrived in the 1840s. In 1849, the crew of the American Cutter was killed and eaten by the Pouma clan.New Caledonia – Flags of New Caledonia
47. Wallis and Futuna – Though both French and Polynesian, Wallis and Futuna is distinct from the entity known as French Polynesia. Its land area is 142.42 km2 with a population of about 12,000. Mata-Utu is the capital and biggest city. Since 2003, Wallis and Futuna has been a French overseas collectivity. Between 1961 and 2003, it had the status of a French overseas territory, though its official name did not change when the status changed. Polynesians settled the islands that would later be called Wallis and Futuna around the year 1000, when the Tongan Empire expanded into the area. The original inhabitants built forts and other identifiable ruins on the islands, some of which are still partially intact. Pierre Chanel, canonized as a saint in 1954, is a major patron of the island of Futuna and the region. The Wallis Islands are named after the British explorer, Samuel Wallis. On 5 April 1842, the missionaries asked for the protection of France after the rebellion of a part of the local population. On 5 April 1887, the Queen of Uvea signed a treaty officially establishing a French protectorate. The kings of Sigave and Alo on the islands of Futuna and Alofi also signed a treaty establishing a French protectorate on 16 February 1888. The islands were put under the authority of the French colony of New Caledonia. During World War II the island's administration was pro-Vichy until a Free French corvette from New Caledonia deposed the regime on 26 May 1942. Units of the US Marine Corps landed on Wallis on 29 May 1942.Wallis and Futuna – Ruins of the Talietumu fort
48. France – France, officially the French Republic, is a unitary sovereign state and transcontinental country consisting of territory in western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. Overseas France include several island territories in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. France has a total population of 66.7 million. It is a semi-presidential republic with the capital in the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other urban centres include Marseille, Lyon, Lille, Nice, Toulouse and Bordeaux. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. France emerged as a major European power with its victory in the Hundred Years' War strengthening state-building and political centralisation. During the Renaissance, a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would be the second largest in the world. The 16th century was dominated by civil wars between Catholics and Protestants. France became Europe's dominant political, military power under Louis XIV. In the 19th century Napoleon established the First French Empire, whose subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating in 1870. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was later dissolved in the course of the Algerian War. The Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains to this day. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies typically retained close economic and military connections with France.France – One of the Lascaux paintings: a horse – Dordogne, approximately 18,000 BC
49. Tokelau – Its capital rotates yearly between the three atolls. Until 1976, the official name was Tokelau Islands. Tokelau is the first 100% solar powered nation in the world. It is a leader in renewable energy. Tokelau is a democratic nation with every three years. All run as independents; there are no political parties in Tokelau. The most spoken language in Tokelau is Tokelauan, at 93.5%. A dependent territory of New Zealand, it is sometimes referred to by its older colonial name, the Union Islands. In 2007, the United Nations General Assembly designated Tokelau a non-self-governing territory. However, Tokelau is officially referred by both the Tokelauan government. The basis of Tokelau's legislative, judicial systems is its amendments. In 1992, the head of government was established, elected every 3 years. The national anthem is God Save the Queen. Nonetheless, Tokelau continues to decrease in population. The largest settlement in Tokelau is Fale.Tokelau – Nukunonu Lagoon in Tokelau.
50. Pitcairn Islands – Only Pitcairn, the second-largest island that measures about 3.6 kilometres from east to west, is inhabited. The islands are inhabited mostly by descendants of the Bounty mutineers and the Tahitians who accompanied them, an event retold in numerous books and films. This history is still apparent in the surnames of many of the islanders. With only about 50 permanent inhabitants, originating from four main families, Pitcairn is the least populous national jurisdiction in the world. The United Nations Committee on Decolonization includes the Pitcairn Islands on the United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories. Although archaeologists believe that Polynesians were living on Pitcairn as late as the 15th century, the islands were uninhabited when they were rediscovered by Europeans. Ducie and Henderson Islands were discovered by Portuguese sailor Pedro Fernandes de Queirós, sailing for the Spanish Crown, who arrived on 26 January 1606. He named them La Encarnación and San Juan Bautista, respectively. Pitcairn Island was sighted on 3 July 1767 by the crew of the British sloop HMS Swallow, commanded by Captain Philip Carteret. The island was named after Midshipman Robert Pitcairn, a fifteen-year-old crew member, the first to sight the island. Robert Pitcairn was a son of British Marine Major John Pitcairn, who later was killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill in the American Revolution. This made Pitcairn difficult to find, as highlighted by the failure of Captain James Cook to locate the island in July 1773. The wreck is still visible underwater in Bounty Bay, discovered in 1957 by National Geographic explorer Luis Marden. Although the settlers survived by farming and fishing, the initial period of settlement was marked by serious tensions among them. Alcoholism, murder, disease and other ills took the lives of most mutineers and Tahitian men.Pitcairn Islands – The mutineers turning Bligh and part of the officers and crew adrift from the Bounty, 29 April 1789
51. United Kingdom – The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom or Britain, is a sovereign country in western Europe. Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the UK is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world and the 11th-largest in Europe. It is also the 21st-most populous country, with an estimated 65.1 million inhabitants. Together, this makes it the fourth most densely populated country in the European Union. The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of governance. The monarch—since 6 February 1952—is Queen Elizabeth II. Other major urban areas in the UK include the regions of Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow and Liverpool. The UK consists of four countries—England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The last three have devolved administrations, each with varying powers, based in their capitals, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast, respectively. The relationships among the countries of the United Kingdom have changed over time. Wales was annexed in 1542. In 1922, five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories.United Kingdom – Stonehenge, in Wiltshire, was erected around 2500 BC.